More than 164,000 Harris County residents went to the polls during the early voting period.
Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart says compared to the past few elections, that’s a big jump.
“We’re talking like 80 percent larger turnout than looking back the last three elections where it’s constitutional amendment and city of Houston election,” he says.
In the Harris County part of the city of Houston, more than 104,000 residents voted early.
Rice University political scientist Bob Stein expects about the same number of voters to turn out on Election Day.
If you include mail-in ballots, that would bring turnout in Houston to about 25 percent – higher than in the last open race for mayor in 2009, when about 20 percent of registered voters showed up.
Stein attributes that to the controversial equal rights ordinance and to the fact that there is a strong African American candidate, along with some popular Republicans on the ballot.
“It’s come from mostly African American boxes and it’s come from mostly Republican areas that had in the past not had strong candidates for them to be excited about,” Stein says.
The total number of registered voters in Houston is about 1 million. It is more than 2 million in all of Harris County.